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San Francisco 16, America 6, United States 5, Newsom 5, The City 5, Washington 2, Robert Miller 2, California 2, Dr. Jones 2, John Avalos 1, Tom Purvixs 1, Laura 1, Feinstein 1, Nancy Pelosi 1, Thomas Jefferson 1, Annette Robinson 1, Pam Fisher 1, Kelly Dunn 1, Fred Martin 1, Susan Mcintyre 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    September 8, 2010
    4:00 - 4:29pm PDT  

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holding this hearing. it is a very different environment than the majority of hearings that take place in this chamber the deal with mental health. the majority of those hearings are about budget cuts. having worked in san francisco with homeless people who have psychiatric illness since 1988, i have watched the system dismantle itself. i have watched to be dismantled every 38 or four years, each time a new administration comes in. -- i have watched the system be dismantled every three or four years, each time a new administration comes in. i could give a history of what has happened in san francisco since 1966 as a result of institutional nation. i have strong views on the legislative aspects of what you are talking about, including laura's law. started my non-profit because of
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his tired of what the publ department of public health was not doing. you cannot tell us there is no money in the city. there is a lot of money in the city. we provide services to perhaps 100 people a year for as long as 10 years or however long they need it. the doctors and psychiatrists we use volunteer their time. we probably under-pay our staff. that is fine. they're very devoted to what they do. the cost per client, per year is $3,500. conversely, it costs $34,000 to incarcerate the same person in the san francisco county jail. unfortunately, when people in up in behavioral health court, that is what happens. they will only release people to programs. there are not enough beds in programs. people spend more money in jail because of the lack of facilities for people to go
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into this is not just true in the city. it is true nationally. i have some national statistics. this report was written in 2006. it says that 62% of every incarcerated population, 62% of people in jails, state prisons, federal prisons, and private facilities throughout the nation have a serious diagnosable mental illness. it is far greater than 10%. that number has been rising exponentially every year since the data was kept. if you look at where was 10 years ago and where does now, the only thing that you can say is that our country's response is to a health issue and
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poverty. if you are disabled, the possibility of being poor is 100 times greater. this country has created systems that perpetuate the mass in corporat-- the mouse incarceratf people with mental illness. -- this country has created a system that perpetuates the massive incarceration of people with mental on this. that should frighten all of us. [applause] >> what is here now from dr. john dorsey. >> first off, and the consumer of mental health in the city of san francisco. -- i am a consumer of mental health in the city of san francisco. i have now transferred to the veterans mental health. i am proud to say that i am a veteran. i like to direct expressly to you, the president of nami, that
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we're going to be in for a shock in the next couple of years was 70,000 in coming back that are going to be in bad shape from fatigue, mental stress, with real mental health problems coming back to the united states after we evacuate afghanistan and other places like that. nothing has been prepared. in san francisco. it is going to be just like when they came back from vietnam. they slept on the streets. 6. they were ignored. there were not allowed to be employed. -- they slept on the streets. they were sick. they were ignored. they were not allowed to be employed. there was an attitude in san francisco that was the opposite of what the world was going to. we cannot do that again with a blindfold on. i am united states. force academy. i was with the first to the graduating classes and have
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spent time personally with the president of united states at the facility when mr. ford was first president of the united states. i am proud that i am a veteran. i do not like to what the industry and see a veteran -- i do not like to walk down the street and seek a veteran with a sleeping bag strapped to a wheelchair looking for a place to sleep at night. that is the degradation that causes mental illness and mental health stress, of surviving with no future. i will leave it at that. [applause] >> thank you very much. our last speaker is -- >> i want to a knowledge the valuable comments regarding veterans and a huge amount posttraumatic stress disorder we
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will witness. he is absolutely right. i want folks to know that nami does have a national contract with the veterans administration. we're barely under way in terms of offering some of the joint programs. he is absolutely right. we are going to be in for it. thank you. >> our last speaker this evening will be chris, a resident of san francisco. >> my name is chris. i am a resident of san francisco. i have a disabled family member receiving social security benefits. that helps to pay for a bed in a group home in the city. by and the -- i am the payee. she received a large back
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payment from social security. i am trying to learn how to manage the money from social security. it has confusing requirements that she must spend the money within several months or lose benefits because then she would have to much money to receive benefits. i was able to find out that the city of san francisco provides payee services for its clients. as a four weeks ago, these services have been closed because the staff has been overwhelmed. they are no longer providing these payee services to new clients. there is no waiting list. i was fortunate that the person i talked to slid me under the back door to speak to someone she thought might be able to help meet in answering my questions. that person, with her expertise and experience, was able to explain to me how i could pre-
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pay rent and medical expenses for this family member to spend the money without losing benefits. i was very fortunate as a family member to have gotten some key information that would ensure that federal dollars are not wasted or lost and that there used to pay for my family member in the city. i wonder about consumers who do not have access to services from the city who lose federal benefits that are critical to provide housing and medical for themselves. it does not make sense to me that some cuts are costing as much more than the cuts themselves. that is all i had to say. [applause] >> thank you very much, chris.
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i would like to thank supervisor john avalos for sponsoring the hearing. he has been a strong advocate and a good friend to the mental health board, especially during the budget season. he is the chair of the budget committee for the city and county of sentences. special thanks go out to drdr. quanbeck, jennifer friedenbach, thomas jefferson, annette robinson, pam fisher, fred martin, dr. jones, susan mcintyre, virginia wright, tom
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purvixs, officer dunn. i like to thank you all for participating in this very special hearing. i would like to make sure that the things said this evening reached the ears of those in office at this moment. those who control the purse strings, those who make the decisions to make these cuts. we let you hear from firsthand responders, from those who are on the ground, from those professionals who have experience dealing with those in crisis. we've heard from the public this evening, passionate testimony regarding help services help out and why we need to continue with services. with that, i would like to thank you all for coming.
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again, we have openings on the mental health board. i hope you will grab some of our fliers and get in touch with our staff to explore the possibility of being able to sit here and make changes have been -- happen. the mental health board has done fantastic things like bringing the mental health services act money into the state of california down to the san francisco county, sort of by passing some steps getting it directly on the ground. we've had hearings like this. we are more than happy to have more members come up. do i have a motion to adjourn? >> do we have any comments? >> we have closed public comments. dr. jones, do you have a second?
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from officer kelly dunn. this meeting is adjourned. thank you. [applause] [no audio] ♪ >> if you are interested in our local city government and would like to work with 18 other enthusiastic citizens committed to improving its operations, i
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encoura >> that is right. exactly right. or twice a week. hi, everyone. i'm executive director of the human services agency, the agency that administers the jobs now program, which we are here to talk about today. a month from now, the lesson a month from now, if congress does not enact -- does not act, this jobs program is going to go away. it will go way across the country as well. we jumped early into this program on the heels of the federal stimulus act in february. the act allowed for 100% federal reimbursement of wages to employers who hire individuals through this program. the idea in san francisco was threefold. first would be to get people back to work, which this program has done with a wild success. the second is to help businesses
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small and large to either maintain or grow during this time of economic recession, and last is to stimulate the local economy, which we have done through the wages. $55 million in wages are projected to be reimbursed through the end of september of this year, and that is money going right back into the local economy. arguably one of the biggest successes of the federal stimulus act is this program nationally. today, what we want to announce, and the mayor will take the lead on this, is a new campaign or a final push to get the federal government to act to extend this program. $2.5 million will extend it for another year. we will keep the 3000 people who have been employed in san francisco through this program on the job. the last day of august, we had to suspend our program. we are no longer enrolling new employees. we are no longer enrolling new
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employers. for us, we are at the status quo. we have a month left. we're working hard to get our folks ready for the transition. we hope to not have to do that, but we are preparing for pretty bad news. today, final push. the mayor will talk a little bit about the program as well. >> thanks, and thank you all very much for taking the time to be here. i actually just left senator feinstein, who has been a champion of this program. the reference that not to impress but to impress upon you that we need all the friends we can get all the champions we can get to extend this program. 3820 families are being served by this program. these are families, many of which -- close to, in fact, 1000 of these families were on welfare, and now pulled out of welfare and have the dignity of a paycheck and the dignity that comes with a paycheck.
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when they come back home to feed their family. that is not a rhetorical line. that is not a line just to place some politics. that is quite literal. this program, arguably, is the most successful stimulus program in the united states of america, and i can back that up. this is a program that hires from the private sector does proportionally and benefits if the private sector does proportionally. this is a program that helps small businesses. for all of the rhetoric coming from washington, d.c., and sacramento and up and down the local municipal calls up and down this state and around the nation, here is a program that works. this is an interesting fact that underscores it -- congress, wisely and appropriately extended unemployment insurance. what is unemployment insurance to a family in california? it means you receive $450 a week.
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not to work. you are looking for work, but you receive a $450 check a week to work. congress, wisely, extended that. a lot of republicans opposed it because they said we needed to find a way to fund it, but in principle, they understand the importance of unemployment benefits. here's a program where people in the trenches receive $447 a week to work. let me repeat that -- we can hand out $450 a week not to work, or 470 -- $447 a week to work. we can hand out $447 a week to work for those that needed the most -- people with kids -- that benefit those that need those employees the most -- small business -- to go out and create wealth and opportunity and stimulate our economy. it does not get much better than that. it is beyond mesmerizing, and it
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goes to my frustration with the extraordinary lack of leadership in this country right now on this issue of jobs, the rhetoric aside, the lack of leadership that the fundamental fact has been ignored by elected officials. this should, more than anything else, drive people through the roof. you could pay people to work, or you could pay people not to work. if you pay people to work, and by the way, none of the folks you see right here want unemployment benefits. they all spoke eloquently when they were here, and that is just a small sampling of thousand- plus families represented right there are people who want to keep their jobs that do not want an unemployment check. they want to go home and feel good about themselves because they worked and have the dignity of a day where they feel like their life is moving in the right direction, not stuck in neutral.
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but congress is not acting. the house has twice passed this. nancy pelosi hast was processed this. twice it has passed. the president and his staff -- and trust me when i say we have talked to all of them directly -- say they will sign this absolutely. only thing that is stopping small businesses from getting the benefit, families from getting the benefit, and individuals the benefit of the dignity of work is the citizens -- is the senators and politics in washington. you should jump up and now when you find out about a program like this that creates a direct jobs, that directly helps not just governments, but the private sector. 800 employers are part of this program in san francisco alone. 20-thousand-foot -- 20,000-plus
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people are about to lose their jobs in the next few weeks if we do not act. this is a big deal. look at the faces. who is represented there? 70% minority. african-american community, the latino community, and the asian community where unemployment rate is exponentially higher than the state and federal average and even our local average. again, if it is all about rhetoric and politics and positioning, then support the status quo. if you believe in jobs and the private sector and the dignity of work than you want to create real opportunity and real wealth and real economic outlook that stimulates the community, then extend this job program. i hate to be so aggressive. that said, here is a study that came out that basically said exactly what i have just said and what we have been saying. it is from the center of budget and policy priorities.
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it's a walking away from a win- win-win -- it says walking away from a win-win-win. reduce the cost of government, increases economic growth, and private sector development, and creates opportunity by reducing the burden on the federal government with unemployment benefits. nothing is, to me, more obvious than this, but obvious does not always make the best case for progress in a political environment where there is elections at stake. i want to thank everyone you see behind me for their leadership. millie activating the small business community because this was a program was started that was "too good to be true." we started with a goal of 1000 people, and they said it could not be done. we got to 1500, and they said we would never get to 2000, so we said we would get to 3000.
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we went to congress because we realized we had to extend this thing because it was not going to go much further. l.a. county has a huge number of people about to lose their jobs. all the other counties would have hired many times more than we did, but they never believed it. if this gets extended, we can hire. if we got this extended, we would get 10,000 people employed through this program. he says that is not possible, and he will come back and says he wants to give the statistic that only 7400 people or so have been vetted through this. all right, how about 7000? we have 40,000 people under work, and here we are in this one program we could subsidize from the private sector that once folks for the holidays to promote and market their business? here is the insidious nature -- guess when these folks have no work. when they need that work more than ever, during the holidays.
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happy holidays. good luck. what does this do? it puts further pressure on those that are looking for jobs because thousands of people are going to start looking for that same worked -- same work. these are families, women, minorities, and i cannot impress more how important this is. so let's get rid of me and the politics of any politician, rather, that is speaking, and let's bring up -- trend will do this in a moment -- bring up some other folks. by the way, not everyone gets paid $447 a week. i'm just saying that is the average for the transition. folks with a permit are getting paid $19.49 on average. even if you pay at that higher increment, how much more than $450 a week is that? not much, to actually have people employed. we have put together a list. quickly, i will get to this.
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a list of mayors across the country. we just launched an advocacy effort. these are my friends. they all understand the importance of this, so we just put together an organization around mayors being advocates for this. that is something else we wanted to announce. third, we will hear from a business leader that has gone out of his way because of what is at stake for his business to do an online petition to get like-minded business leaders across the country to say, open a " you have got to be kidding me. you claim to be pro-small- business, and you're going to let this program expire and but everybody else on the dime of welfare rolls, which we will have to pay. what possibly would you do that, and how could you argue for
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that?" i get excited about this. >> thank you, mr. mayor. a couple of points about this report -- 250,000 people nationwide hired through this money. close to half are used -- youth, in fact. we started in may. we were one of the first on board. mayor newsom would go to the u.s. conference of mayors, and he would tell the we had this great program. my office kept getting calls. we have been talking to states and localities all over the country and really, due to the mayor's leadership, this 250,000 no. i think is largely attributed to that. robert miller, who is here, one of our early partners with jobs
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now, well over 150 employees -- 145 employees through jobs now. he will talk about that, but he will talk about this innovative online campaign he has got going to get this thing extended. robert miller. >> i'm director of veterinary archives, and i want to thank mayor newsom for having the fortitude, the foresight, and the temerity to stay with a program for the very beginning -- since the very beginning. he took a chance on main street. we want to take that chance on government. our first higher was in june 2009, and our last was yesterday, the last day before the door closed. we believe the program benefits both sides of main street. the employee, giving them a real job doing real work. 145 people that are working for me are building a free, online digital library of 1 million books which will go to every school in america. it gives them pride. it gives them professional
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confidence, and gives them a job they can go back to their families with and make a difference in their community in terms of funding, financing, and confidence, and if america does not have the confidence to go forward on one side of wall street, how can we make the decisions that we need to? this is not a handout. this is a hand up, as far as i'm concerned. this program is fantastic. as an employer in an uncertain environment, we did not know what 2009 or 2010 would unfold. we did not know whether the economy was going to improve, stay flat, or continue to go down, but based on this particular program, it gave us the confidence to look at our payroll and make a bet on america, on san francisco, and our employees. we are thrilled at the program. it is the best lending i have ever seen of one side of main street with the other side. we do not want the program to
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continue forever. we do not want a handout, but we want to ask for one more year to give us the chance to put our risk into reality and jobs into the future of america and san francisco. i want to announce that we have been working very hard with the last week and with business leaders across america targeting 10 key states that have used this program to great success. mississippi, pennsylvania, florida, texas, michigan, and five other states, and we are starting an online campaign to petition signatures in each state, not only from the employee side, but from a business side. let us create more jobs. let us add to our payroll, payroll taxes, to help us at more to the government, but we need another leg up for another year. help us in his advocacy effort in 2010 and 2011. so, mayor newsom, thank you one
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more time so much. and i would like to introduce one of the faces of the people who works for me. there is a real sight to this, and it gives me great pleasure to introduce ginger, who works in archives and just celebrated her one-year anniversary with the archives. >> thanks, robert. thanks, mayor newsom. thanks, everyone, for having me here. i am a single mother, and 15 months ago, i was having to make the choice between putting food on our table and putting -- paying our electricity bill. we are one of those families that mayor newsom spoke up. this job has meant so much to me. i have added skills and accomplishments to my resume over the last year. i'm hoping to build a digital public library that is available to all schools across the nation. i am worried th